Runtime: 1 HR, 28 MIN
Director: Nima Nourizadeh
Starring: Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, Jonathan Daniel Brown, Dax Flame, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Miles Teller, and Alexis Knapp
Film Rating: 1 out of 5
March 2nd is the 62nd day of 2012 and also marks the release of Project X which is the third ‘found footage’ film released this year after The Devil Inside and Chronicle. If you do a quick bit of math you’ll see that a new found footage film is being released inside of every three weeks currently (62 days ÷ 3 films = 20.666 days). That’s a very disturbing trend because Project X is the worst example of the genre I’ve seen so far and makes me wonder if I have fourteen more found footage films to watch in 2012 and how much further this genre must fall into the cinematic abyss before it implodes?
There’s not much a plot to Project X; it’s just a series of unfunny scenes set to club music in a rich kid’s backyard. Thomas (Thomas Man) who is celebrating his 17th birthday, Costa (Oliver Cooper) the loud mouth obnoxious asshole that plans the party, and the resident walking fat joke JB (Jonathon Daniel Brown) are getting ready for the “Game changing” party that is going to turn their lives around. They are joined by Dax who looks like a Columbine High School enthusiast who will be videotaping their experiences. After a brief visit to the school and to their local stereotypical drug dealer they get the party started. Once the party kicks off we’re treated to among other things flying dogs, midgets in ovens, drug filled gnomes, crazed prepubescent security, the world’s worst police, an angry neighbor, and a sociopath with a flamethrower. It’s pretty much your average “only in the world of Hollywood” party.
There are almost no redeeming qualities about Project X except that it’s less than 90 minutes long that spares the audience from wasting too much time. The three main cast members are all dis-likable but the party organizer Costa is one of the most unpleasant characters I’ve recently seen on film. He is obnoxious, grating, and an absolute sleaze ball that masquerades as a nice guy while his friends must suffer through his selfishness. Not to be left out Thomas and JB are perfect examples of why you should always use birth control to avoid having terrible children without any social skills. The female cast members are given little to do except dance, take their tops off, and perpetuate the stereotype that any hot girl given enough alcohol will sleep with any guy no matter how ugly.
The one cast member almost everyone will recognize will be the “Bacon Neck” guy from the Michael Jordan Hane’s commercials last year. His characterization of the creepy older guy at the high school party really moved me… to visit the concession stand.
Project X exists completely outside of any possible reality where rational people exist. The boy’s party quickly spirals out of control but only one annoyed rich neighbor calls the cops. When the cops arrive the boys give them the slip by turning the music down and having hundreds of kids hide in the backyard. The cops then drive away and don’t return until the party has taken a strange “Occupy Wall Street” turn and a man with a flame thrower is torching the neighborhood. There are no consequences for anyone’s actions either; alcohol is consumed at an alarming rate, kids take enough hits of ecstasy to cook their brain like an egg and just keep on dancing, animals are mistreated, and some Hitler youth try to bake a little person in the oven. This is a deplorable film with narcissistic characters that only want to take advantage of their female party guests and will to go to any lengths to reach their goal. The depth of their depravity robbed Project X of comedy and instead replaced it with disgust and shame which left me feeling dirty with a strong desire to bath immediately.
The only area of Project X that could be considered a success is in terms of nudity but even the nudity is tainted by a feeling of unease due to the fact that all these girls are supposed to be high school. If you’re a high school or college student now you might not feel as creepy as I felt but I’ve been out of high school a long time now and I’d rather see naked girls in collegiate form. All creepy old man guilt aside Project X does feature the best naked bounce house footage I’ve yet seen and is a top five entry in the naked underwater pool footage as well. Sadly a few minutes of naked girls does not make up for the other eighty plus minutes of misery associated with Project X.
The loose title of director falls on Nima Nourizadeh who should have stuck to music videos since that’s what Project X looks and feels like. All found footage films have done to cinema is make so that any two bit hack with a camera can make an incoherent movie and pass it off as art. The screenplay surprisingly wasn’t written in excrement by a roomful of monkeys but by Matt Drake and Michael Bacall. The latter is one of the writers of the new 21 Jump Street film which diminishes my interest in that film considerably.
Project X is an ugly film; the characters are ugly, the dialogue is ugly, the general look of the film is ugly, and worst of all its message is ugly. I have no issue with silly party films but there has to be likable characters and something that resembles a plot and this film has neither. Even if you made Project X without the gimmicky found footage aspect it would still be terrible and it’s only made worse by its inclusion. There’s no doubt in my mind that there will be some fans of Project X but I’m guessing most of them are still trying to figure out the “Net Nanny” password on their computer to download their first Girls Gone Wild video.
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